By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – Attorneys Joshua Castmore and Robert Berg filed an emergency motion Sept. 14 to stay the activation of the T-Mobile 5G cell tower atop Washington Elementary School pending an appeal.
The move follows Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Adel Harb’s Aug. 25 order granting a dismissal of the case.
Harb said that the defendants made an improper zoning appeal under the guise of a nuisance claim when asking the court to review T-Mobile’s permit to install the cell tower.
The judge said that T-Mobile properly obtained the permit. He noted that the wireless communications equipment is a permitted use of property and is not subject to a special land use approval, since it will be mounted on an existing structure.
Harb said that the plaintiffs’ allegations of adverse health impact from the radiofrequency emissions are pre-empted as long as the emissions are within the levels permitted by the Federal Trade Commission.
The parents bringing suit contend that the levels of radiation allowed by the FTC are unsafe for young children at the school, especially when outside on the playground adjacent to the 5G cell tower.
Ironically, because the plaintiffs have not yet suffered harm, the risk of future health injury is considered speculative.
Harb also said that the plaintiffs lack standing, and for a non-government official to make a claim, they must be able to establish the risk of “special damages.”
He said the plaintiffs must be able to prove that the potential damage is distinct and different from any injury suffered by the general public.
The Wyandotte School District entered into a contract with T-Mobile in June 2018 for a cell tower atop Washington Elementary School, with a building permit issued September 2018 and work beginning in 2019 on the school chimney. However, the COVID 19 pandemic halted work in 2020, until May and June 2020, when T-Mobile reapplied for permits.